Entries in exploration (2)

Wednesday
Aug282013

Ludum Dare 27 Entry - Time Frame

So, I made a game in 72 hours. Well, it's not entirely what I had envisioned for the concept, but I accomplished quite a bit in the time I had so I'm pretty proud of it. Time Frame is a game about exploring a strange world that moves in slow motion. The game takes place over the span of only 10 seconds, which you experience over 10 minutes. LD27's theme was 10 seconds and I really wanted to make something that wasn't fast-paced and frantic like 99% of the other entries. The idea was to have a vast area that you would never actually be able to completely explore within the time limit. I succeeded with that, but I wasn't able to fill that area with as many sights and sounds as I had hoped. I wanted to have all kinds of things happening in slow motion to emphasize the time dialation, but I ran out of time. In the end there are really only a couple things that give you a frame of reference for how slow time is moving. The first is a fountain at the entrance of an abandoned city that has water falling in slow motion. The second is an event that happens towards the end of the game that reveals why the game ends at all, so I won't spoil it for you.

The art style was something that I chose to make asset creation faster. Everything has a very simple, yet high-def look that emphasizes triangles. I actually made all the textures using a really neat application called Hexels. It's an awesome tool that lets you paint using shapes other than just pixels. I used the trixel shape mode and was able to really quickly develop a unique style. Hexels has a free version that I would recommend everyone check out.

Soon after the close of the competition I added in support for the Oculus Rift as well. I have had the Rift dev kit for about a month now and have been wanting to do something with it for a while. It was a great way to get familiar with the setup so that we can use it while developing Lacuna Passage as well.

Depending on the response I get to Time Frame I may invest some effort in improving the game with some of the features I wanted to include from the beginning. Here are some of the things that I would like to add:

  • Birds, insects, and small animals
  • Falling leaves in an orchard of trees
  • Burning pyres
  • Cloth banners in the city flowing in the wind 
  • A small stream with a waterfall
  • Pollen/Particles floating through the fields of flowers

Obviously I've got most of my time wrapped up in developing Lacuna Passage, but I think I will try to keep working on the stuff above when I'm able. For now you can play the web version or download the standard or Rift versions for Windows from our competition page.

Time Frame was created using Unity. Music by Clark Aboud (also our composer for Lacuna Passage). Programming, art, and design by myself, and addtional art by Alex Senechal.

Tuesday
May152012

Concept art for a future game idea

The following is a photoshop painting that I did for a game idea I'm currently concepting. The basic idea is that you are the sole survivor on a failed mission to Mars. While there you discover a mystery that crosses the galaxy. A single player exploration and puzzle game. The suit design was created by my friend and coworker Eric Young while I did all the coloring and painting. I actually would love to have the game look very close to this style. Somewhat cartoonish... almost like a comic book. I might do some 3D art tests soon.